Who's the Noisy Neighbor?

>> Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Over the weekend, Principe and I received a letter from our neighbor saying that our TV volume is too loud. She wrote us a letter because she claims that she had been knocking on our door but nobody ever answers. Everytime she knocks on our door, the volume would go down for a while, but then it will goes up to the original volume. I can't help but laugh. Since Principe does not speak English, he never opens the door when people come knocking. He usually just mute the TV and see if there will be further action, if nobody is hollering and yelling outside he wouldn't be answering the door at all.

The letter goes on about how I'm making people in the 4 apartments around me very uncomfortable. Our building is old and the walls are paper thin, and most people goes to bed before midnight and not everybody wakes up at 8 o'clock in the morning and if we don't quiet down, she'll have to call the building management. I know that it's a "she", because she signed her name "Jennifer" on the bottom without telling us which apartment she's from... coward.

Well, while I do agree with most of her points, I refuse to live my life based on other people feelings. Don't get me wrong, I don't turn on my TV all the way up just to retaliate or intentionally make my neighbors uncomfortable, but I will not make myself uncomfortbale to fit other people's lifestyle. As my former colleague had says about me: "He's generally very accomodating, but god help the ones that f#(k with his TV!"

I'm not the loud one in my neighborhood, not by far. The one who lives upstairs from me usually likes to bounce his basketball, watch movies and play video games until 4 am. He used to throw parties all the time until early morning and I tolerated it. We all paid cheap rents to live in this old building, the walls are thin and water damaged, there are tons of roaches, flies and mice, the elevator and mailboxes are usually broken. My bathroom door is broken for months, the faucets leak. The heat is usually too high. So yes, the building is in bad condition and badly managed. But the rent is cheap.

My apartment is basically a 10 step by 10 step box, that's why I need my TV to be on at all times so my mind can be somewhere else instead of feeling claustrophobic. So I turn up my TV volume to "8 out of 25" and I get a complaint letter. Hey, you get what you paid for. If we all get rich, we might be able to live in buildings with thicker walls, but until then we all would have to compromise. "You live in the city, deal with it". And by the way, good luck on calling the building management, and when you get them, tell them to fix my bathroom door.

Well, I said that but lately it has been bugging me, and I tried not to turn the volume over "5 of 25"... Freaking annoying.


Follow-Ups on My Hobbies

>> Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I started my painting of Principe. It's a bit harder than I thought, I try to use pencils to outline the photo on the canvas, but my eraser doesn't seem to work on the canvas so I can't erase my mistakes. To make it worse, Principe is over my shoulder saying how big his face looks and how angry I make him look, how big his eyebrows are, and he doesn't like his eyes... I should have never let him see it. It's not even done yet, It's just an outline. After outlining it, I still have to add color and shade to create depth. But after being criticized, I don't feel like doing it anymore.

Bought two used games on gamefly, the equivalent of netflix for video games. By comparison, they are a lot cheaper than store bought. It's about half price, but they are used. Hopefully they work out okay. Video games on average cost $50 each, it's too expensive a habit. Although I can entertain myself with them for a long time. I enter a stage of full concentration, I don't need to eat or drink, I just sit in fornt of the TV for a whole day. Of course, it's not productive at all, but I wonder if I can lose weight just by playing video games.

My unfinished blanket is sitting on the corner staring me at my face and my scrap cookbook is still in a box collecting dust. I have to finish them sometimes.


Animal Kingdom

>> Monday, January 29, 2007

ES just sent me some very interesting body painting sites, I thought I should share them. The first one is an art site, that paint their hands into different animals and the second one is a racier condom commercials that paints their privates into other animals, if you are easily offended by nudity, you shouldn't go.


My Ex-Day

During this past weekend, I went out with my former colleague JH and his friends for dinner. Mainly to catch up. Ever since he was forced to leave our organization, I have been missing him and our walks to work together every morning. He's good company and he has a great, cheerful personality that is contagious; There's a naivete of him, a happy-go-lucky attitude that is just so charming. Other people says he's good-looking and because of that he gets treated very differently, somehow his good looks must have eluded me, but he is still good company.

I guess I get nervous when around strangers, I get very tense and close myself down around his friends. Although they can hardly be considered strangers, I used to go to their house and teach them how to play mahjong a few times and they helped my workplace decorate for several function that we held. A and M, they are a couple and have been together for 12 years. I think I just never get quite comfortable with them, I don't find that we have a lot in common, but they are nice guys. So I bought them dinner at Fogo de Chao, just to show that I didn't mean to be rude and unsocial. A says "Guess I'll have to have sex with you now!".

So afterwards we went to a bar to have a few drinks. I haven't gone out to drink for so long. I guess I don't think that bars are exactly my "scene". I don't like drinking and smoking, I don't know how to dance and I feel awkward flirting with strangers and cruising. I wonder how I ever found myself a boyfriend. Not being out for a while lowered my tolerant to alcohol. I used to be able to handle 4 cocktails and now I get dizzy after 1. JH called me a cheap date and he says he'll have to train me how to hold my liquor. It's not like I want to drink much anyway. After my second drink, I was so drunk that I was googling at A's chest hair and thought about taking him upon his earlier offer, but I already have a boyfriend and he does as well. He says "M don't want to have sex with me anymore, he says it's like having lobster everyday, you'll eventaully get tired of it." Funny.

My ex-boyfriend also spotted me and start coming around and showing his face. Really annoying. We went out for three and a half year and we broke up and he has been harassing me for the past five years. What a loser... I hope he finds someone else to harass. he left me a 5-minute voice mail that I can't hear a word because I was at the bar, and then he left me a text message saying "I hope you find the security that you were looking for". Whenever I'm with someone at the bar he's always immediately associate that I found a new boyfriend. Like I need somebody rich to take care of me, just because I'm Asian. He's such a racist. Unlike his broke ass, I can take care of myself. And then it's non-stop phone calls all night. I should save his voice messsages and text messages and send them to his boss just to ruin his pathetic career. but since there's decency left in me, I won't.

What gives him the right to harass me anyway? Just because he was drunk, he spotted me in a bar and we broke up a long, long time ago doesn't give him the right to ruin my night. Well, misery loves company, all his actions just reconfirm me that I was right to dump him. He is so miserable. One time he texted me and said "I hope you realized what you wouldn't be without me." Happy? He was so miserable day and night, I try my best to cheer him up but fails, he probably suffers from depression, the only thing is that I don't want to suffer with him. I have never responded to his text messages or voice mail, so I don't encourage him but I love my phone number that's why I never changed, but one of these days...


Bathroom Conversations

>> Friday, January 26, 2007

Since my office moved to another floor, we have to share the same bathrooms with another organization. This organization is a GLBT "youth-shelter" where kids, mostly still sexually confused teenagers, comes over after school to hang around. These kids are mostly from broken families and the organization is a great place for them to be to prevent them from being destructive. While this is excellent for the kids, it doesn't work well with people around them.

Kids can be so obnoxious. Before we were on the same floor, I just recognize them as a rowdy crowd that I've been forced to be with in the hallway or the elevators. they might listen to loud music, yelling and shouting at each other or even horsing around. But now it's a different story.

One time, I was waiting for the elevator in the lobby of our building and this little cross-dressing twinky wearing headphones playing loud disco music decided to come over and offer me a lapdance. I mean come on! I'm already the easily embarass type and just because I'm gay doesn't mean I like these girly men. So I yell security and he backed off, they worst thing is that the securities are sitting 5 feet away, but they never thought to get off their butts.

Yesterday when I went in the bathroom, I heard a conversation from two kids in the stalls. First, I thought they were having sex because according to the rumors that had happened before and all I heard at first were giggles. But afterwards one of the boys spoke up and I quote "You're having problem shitting because you eat too much of that string cheese shit! I don't have problem shitting over here!" I must be out of the kid's loop for a while, it was taboo to even talk in the bathroom for my generation. When did taking a dump become proper topic, -- in the bathroom, -- and while you are doing it? And does string cheese really make you constipated?


Between Growing Up and Not Growing Up

>> Thursday, January 25, 2007

I downloaded Scrabble from Yahoo the other day, I have always loved this game. My uncle introduced it to me when I was a child, but I never had anybody that plays with me. It's not until I got to this city that I can get a regular game going on with a friend. I usually win, not because I knew more words but Scrabble is primarily a math game. You are counting points all the time. I guess that pisses my friend off, because she is born in the States and pride herself as a reader and a writer. While I occasionally enjoy some mystery and fiction, never read much at all. So after a while, I stopped going to that friend's house. She can be obnoxious and over-bearing at times, which reminds me of my own family, which is why I'm here alone, in the states, to be as far away from my family as possible.

Principe Rana has been doing pro-bono floor plans for his co-workers. He had taken over my desk, so I haven't even started my painting of him yet. So I got a copy of PS2's Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and banging away every day after work. Time flies when you are playing video games; you turn around and it's 10:00 at night. With all the time I'm investing in it, I may as well be doing something else, get a second job or something. Why do they have to be so enjoyable?

I just got a Chinese New Year's card from GS. It is THE most beautiful Chinese New Year's card I've ever seen in my life. it looks like a pair of carved rose wood door with gold handle bars and everything is crafted in such details, the lions on the golden handle bars, the see-through window crafted with cherry blossoms and the gold dragons all around the window and the gold lotuses on the lower panels of the door. I'm very impressed. I used to have such a humongous crush on him, but we became good friends afterwards and now he's married. His wife left a little note on the card saying hi and tell me to enjoy my life... cute.

It's flurrying festively outside the window and I'm wondering when I can see my friends again.


The World of The Heteros, Part 2

>> Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I work with this doctor and there are pharmaceuticals representative around here all the time. These pharm-reps are a unique bunch of people, they go to different doctor offices all day to persuade doctors to use the medication their company are selling. Because of their jobs, they need to be amiable and cheerful at all times. To butter the doctors up, they sometimes buy lunch for the whole office, which I and sometimes Principe would benefit from and most of them are not so bad to look at either.

So last week one of them called Kim was around and she was trying to install a program for the doctor to use. She wasn't computer savy at all, in fact I think she might be computer illiterate. During the course of the week, she came to my cubicle at least 10 times asking me basic questions like how she can get to yahoo.com to aol.com, how to log on and how to download documents. She obviously don't know how to do her job, and since I don't work for the doctor, I don't see a point working for her and all the while touching my back, my hand, rubbing her boobs against my shoulder as if compensating me for helping her. "You're barking up the wrong tree, honey!" Not only that, I actually hate being touched by people I don't know and the whole coming on to me thing freaks me out!

It gets me into thinking maybe the world moves that way for the heteros. When you want something done for you, you flirt your way around it. That's just how people get ahead. Maybe my lack of ability to do that is what hinders my career and day to day tasks. For example, our CFO gets her way all the time with telephone companies and one time her boyfriend owes the school $1000 for late fee and she just marched into the school's office and tell them that she won't pay for that and they let her. ES and I called that 'Blonde Power', it does exist. I tried using the same tone and logic to deal with those people, it never works for me. It must be nice to be white and blond in this country.


The World of The Heteros, Part 1

It's my 100th entry on this blog. Wow, time flies and who knew I have so much bottled up inside?

Well, just for laughs DC and I went to Hooters for lunch the other day. Honestly, I've never been in one and everybody on TV and real life say they have good wings and I really love wings. So I has always been curious of the place. DC says he frequents Hooters back when he was in Miami and he always loved their curly fries.

So the place is a bit western looking with tons of flat screen TV all showing some kind of sports. The girls are wearing skimpy outfits. It was in the 20s outside and I was surprised that they are still wearing short shorts inside the restaurant. There were country rocks playing in the background. The customers are mostly men, like a gay bar as DC had pointed out, there was a few female customers but I was really surprised to see kids inside. They call it a "family restaurant".

Because it was so cold, we ordered some new england clam chowder, some fries and wings to share. I ordered a cheesesteak for myself and DC had a pulled pork BBQ sandwich. We went all out, because I didn't think I would ever step foot into a Hooters again. Other than the soup and DC's BBQ sandwich, everything was quite bad. The fries are cold, there is this big, big crust around each wing and maybe I'm too spoiled living in Philly, the cheesesteak there can't even compare. So this is the life of the Heteros, ESPN, Beer, exploiting women, country music and bad wings. Boy, I'm glad I'm gay! The only thing remotely interesting in there was this 6'4", big, bald, muscle-bound bouncer/manager guy; the type that only exists in trailer park and the Jerry Springer Show. It's very interesting how people design all these places to cater to different people.


Movie Review - Dreamgirls

>> Monday, January 22, 2007

I've always like broadway musicals, it's in my gay gene. Ha! But more times than often, it translates badly into movies. 'Rent' was good and we had the thrill of seeing 'Chicago' on the big screen, but Renee Zellweger and Richard Gere are awkward at best. I guess people don't expect big stars to be able to sing and dance as well.

As a skit on MadTV had said, Dreamgirls follows the common story of how a star, or in this occassion, a group of songstress made it big much like previous movies like "Ray" or "Walk the Line". It is essentially the same plot for different race or gender or number of people.

The goup of girls call themselves "The Dreams", much like the Supremes in the 80s. Effie White, brilliantly acted by Jennifer Hudson, is a talented singer with a great voice, much like Aretha Franklin. Her brother C.C. is a great songwriter. With two other girls, they are great act that got discovered by manager Curtis Taylor (Jamie Foxx). They started up as backup singers for James "Thunder" Early (Eddie Murphy) and then proceed to have their own act. One of the other girls, Deena Jones (Beyonce Knowles) lead their act because Curtis, being the controlling manager that he is, thought she was more attractive. Deena took all the spotlight and Effie left the group because she felt her talent wasn't appreciated. Deena eventually married Curtis and become a big star like Diana Ross. Effie struggles with life and goes back to singing which she was always meant to do.

This film is pleasing to the eyes and ears, but this story was told too many times before. I don't know why Beyonce would be the leading actress when Effie is the main character of this story. Jennifer hudson should have been the leading actress. Just because you are a bigger star in real life does not make you the leading actress of every film you're in. Hollywood is so convoluted. Otherwise, the film is good. A "B-" from me.


Movie Review - Curse of the Golden Flower

I've always regarded Director Zhang YiMou as one of the greatest Chinese Director there's ever been. He has a highly skillful storytelling ability that is unsurpassed by anybody else. There are only few better than him and it is because they have the big hollywood budget for it. But lately, I've been quite disappointed in him.

Director Zhang has gone commercial. So much so that he does not even care about having a story in his films. A talented storyteller such as Zhang should never give up the story and go for those action-based Kung-Fu movies. It's inherently wrong. I understand that people want kung-fu movies, and that's what pays well, but to give up those high quality, carefully crafted drama is such a waste of talent.

Curse of the golden flower is a beautifully staged film set in Tang dynasty when all of China is bathed in luxury, excess and chrysanthemum is in trend. The movie tries very hard to capture its audience with stunning colors and costumes. You can see gold everywhere, on the king's armor, on the architectures, on the costumes, on the queen's elaborate headress and fingertips, on her chrysanthemum embroidery. The whole movie you can see tons of color contrasts, A whole field of yellow, a whole army of neon green and neon blue, multi colorpillars and columns in the palace. It is quite busy for the eye. Maybe they try to stay true to the Tang Dynasty of being excess, and that stays around the entire movie - the feeling of excess. The movie makes it look like every Chinese knows Kung-Fu and Chinese Medicine.

The movie is about the emperial family in China, where a rift exist between the king (Chow yun-fat) and the queen (Gong Li). The king is secretly poisoning his queen for having an affair with his son, and the queen is retaliating with a rebellion act. After all these years, I am still mesmerized by Gong Li's exceptional skills. She is undoubtedly the star of this movie. Chow Yun-Fat plays a strict emperor who's broken family has driven him to craziness. There's not much depth in the story, just a few lines to explain the relations of several people. Any mysteries that had built up was immediately explained five minutes later. The movie ends with a violent explosion of fights and killing. At the end, it all seems to be a shameless career built up move for singer/actor Jay Chou into the international market. After all he's the only one who died for a "righteous" reason, and it is his songs that played at the end with translation and all.

There are a few points that doesn't make sense to me. The army that comes out of nowhere and why doesn't the king just kill the queen bugs me a bit and what the medicine represents that they have to stress it again and again. For me it's a "C-"!


Movie Review - Pan's Labyrinth

>> Friday, January 19, 2007

Today, I went to work and spontaneously decided to take off around 11:00am to go to a movie with El Principe. Since Principe does not have to work for these two days, I thought he might be bored out of his mind already. It's mostly because I was browsing the movie listings around and I saw this movie called "Pan's Labyrinth" that I really wanted to see and it's in Spanish, so I thought it would be a good idea to go. Principe originally told me that he wants to go to his counsin's around 3:00 pm and it's his last day off, since currently I really hate being at the office, so I thought to myself, why not?

The movie is about a girl who lived in politically unstable Spain during World War II named Ofelia (By the way, I still believe that the Japanese named their newest gaming console "Wii" as an effort to replace the bad association of WWII). After Ofelia's father died, her mother and her moved to her new stepdad's fortress. Her mother is pregnant and sick, her new stepfather is a cruel general who kill peole at will. To close herself out of the mean world, Ofelia immerses herself in fairy tales. During her journey, she was being followed by a large flying mantis which later turned into a fairy and lead her into a labyrinth next to her stepfather's camp. There, she encountered a half-human, half-goat monster called a Faun who tell her that she actually was a princess of the underground world but in order for her to return to the netherworld, she must perform three tasks to prove her valor.

The twists and turns between reality and fantasy, the ailing mother, the cruel stepfather, the army and the revolution compose a fantastically romantic story of Odelia. The gloomy and dark background of World War II curiously harmonizes with the mysterious darkness of a fairy tale. I guess they were right, black goes well with everything. The story of a helpless girl, much like its predecesor Annie or Matilda, allows the viewer to take the main character's side almost instantenously. Overall, I'm amazed at the storytelling ability of the director. This movie is well worth the money. It's a "B+"!


I'm A Computer

>> Thursday, January 18, 2007

Logically, I'm pretty pissed these days. Being cheated on and all. The difficult part is actually to have to come into work and see those people who cheated me being here. Hearing their voices, seeing their faces. Talked to DC and his career seems to be better and better, he just got another higher offer, although he doesn't think he's taking it because he'll have to be further away from JEW. I'm jealous, why can't my career and salary be better?

The problem is, after I got my degree in Information Technology I should have continuously improving my skills in this field. I suppose because my work really does not have much to do with it, I'm pulling myself further and further from my field. I'm like a computer that has passed its prime, with new model constantly coming out. Without upgrading, I'm out-dated, slow and passe, depreciated, worthless... I wonder what kind of job I can find, if I don't work here anymore. In this place, I'm a demigod, because everybody else is so clueless.

Right now, I should just plug in my headphones and ignore all these people. Perhaps, I won't even show up some days. Who cares, anymore? They have let a person who works here show up half the time and still pay her. There's no reason why I have to be here all the time.


The Feeling of Being Cheated

>> Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I can't believe it, but my company cheated me out for $8,250. We had an outside contract which we accepted and I was one of the member who is assigned to this program. We discussed it before new year that it would be extra money for the people who worked on it and mine came to $8,250. We were all happy about it. But now came New Year and the project is in progress, and I was told that I would just get my regular salary. They said they never told me that and why would they give me extrea money? I confirmed with my CFO that they did say it would be extra, but the CFO also told me that it's not her decision to whether increase my salary or not. If my boss decides to use the money for something else, it is his choice.

So I worked extra for nothing... The point that really got me is that he pretended not to remember what actually was said and try to persuade me that I remembered wrong. I should have forced him to write it down on paper, no matter how rude or socially awkward it would have made him feel. I can never trust them ever again. Our CFO and I use to be very close, I looked out for her and I expect her to look out for me, but if she can't do that for me I don't think I should do that for her anymore. I thought about suing, but they are blackmailing me with my green card application right now. I think that's why they decided that they can keep the extra money for themselves anyway. I wish that I can win the lottery and sue the hell out of them. Ha!

I kept it civil, although I'm punching myself in the stomach now. I should have made a scene or something. But you know what? I learned that I can never be friends with them again and I learned not to trust anything that is not written on a piece of paper.


The Pleasures of New York

>> Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I went to NY and Mitsuwa yet again this weekend, but this time I went alone. I seldom go to New York for leisure, most of the time I go with a purpose; Shopping and eating being the purpose, mostly. Some special groceries that I have to get or shopping for X'mas or going to Ajisen for their tenderous pork ribs noodle soup with extra corn and egg. But honestly the city does not excite me that much.

It's just another grayish town, maybe because I don't know the city as well as other folks. There's nothing exciting about it. I'm not interested in museums or parks, and I'm not into clubs and bars. And who have the patience to skim through all the restaurants to see which ones they like? I think the wonders of New York is in how much cultures can co-exist in an island and the number of people there is. Many qualities that my native city Hong Kong shares as well.

I'm glad though that it is so near. At least I can go at times to get my comic books and music. To me, New York is like a store that is far away from me, but they got things I like. And I get to burn a few calories walking around it. It's good exercise.


Second Heat

>> Sunday, January 14, 2007

The long weekeend has made me start a few project, or continue to prgress on them anyway. I bought more yarn for my year-long knitting project. Now, I would have paid more than $300 for a freaking blanket, not to mention the time I've invested in this project. I just thought if I already started, I might as well finish it. I was over at Express Men today and see them selling sweaters for $9.99 to $19.99, It's would have been a lot faster and cheaper to sew the sweaters together and make a blanket out of it... I swear after I finish this, I would never, ever sew again.

Other than sewing, I went to an art and crafts store to buy some oil paint, some paint brush and a canvas board. I am going to start doing a painting on Principe. I got a nice photograph of him in an Ajisen - Japanese noodle shop and there are some sumo paintings on the wall, which make that photo very interesting. I hope I've learned how to paint through my "painting by numbers" thing. But knowing that I'm color weak, it might turn out to be very gruesome or the outcome would resemble a pop art piece, with the color all wrong and strangelike.

I found some poems that I wrote a while back, when I was out with this guy. I was really obsessed with him, now that I look back, I can't see why. I still see him sometimes, but I don't feel the same anymore. I think it's because I got to know him a bit more and figured out that he's not perfect. Actually, very far from it. But now that I found some poem, maybe I should look at them and tweak them a bit. Maybe later in life, I would be able to publish a book of poems.

But then again, I don't think I should start so many project all at once. I should just focus on one, finish it before starting another. Or else, I might not be able to finish any at all. How terrible, that would have been? The problem is that my energy pattern is like a bomb, it explodes, get very hot all at once, but it never lasts. If I can choose, I much rather be a stove or a candle, it always burn consistently, might not be big and bright, but it's always there. How can I alter my energy pattern? I have to practice being consistent. It would take a bit of buddhist education, a bit of Zen or maybe Yoga would be the answer.


Long Weekend Ahead

>> Friday, January 12, 2007

I've been wanting to go back on my diet, or going back to the gym. Given there's really nothing forbidding me to do so, but I just couldn't get myself together for it. i have realized lately how much i enjoy shopping or just spending money in general, I bought me and Principe that pair of G-Shocks, got a bunch of iTunes online and spent my Barnes and Noble gift card on a bunch of CDs. I really have to change my feeling associate with money spending. I need to somehow feel unhappy about it, so I would stop this trend. My dentist office is charging me $135 just for examining and X-rays... They said my insurance should cover it and I won't have to spend a dime, but if they are invoicing me, that means my insurance is not covering it, which they should. So I would need to call them and yell at them.

Thank god this weekend is a long weekend. I always enjoy long weekends.


Another Sunday

>> Sunday, January 07, 2007

Weekends are so short. Not that I have anything planned for them usually, but I would love to just work four days a week like the European and have a long weekend every week. I usually do my laundry every Saturday after struggling to get out of bed for half a day and once laundry is done the weekend is almost over. My colleague suggested me to do laundry on week nights, but I usually get quite lazy after work, with that and cooking dinner I don't want another chore at night.

I think I need a real vacation, to leave my actual life behind and go experience stuff, to forget all responsibilities. I could go to another city and snap artistic pictures or paint some paintings or write stories. Follow a different path for a while and see how I like it.

It's not until recently that I find that I'm not that bad looking. I guess I never had much confidence in any department, and after living on my own for a few years I'm starting to build it. I guess since I'm financially independent now and quite comfortable with my own lifestyles, not to mention finding someone who truly loves me for who I am, my confidence starts to build on its own. It's a great thing. If it continues to build, my goal of happiness might not be that farfetched. Maybe since my value of self is rising, I would really stick to the gym and start taking care of myself and my appearance in general.

I have seen some people pretend to be happy and wear a smile on their face all the time. I can't ignore the fact that soem people can truly be happy all the time, but nature told me that worry is present more than half of the time because it is a natural response to potential threats of the environment and happiness is just a reaction to fulfillment. But most fulfillment is temporary and we know that nobody can be content of what they have. We are always seeking for more, more money, more food, more lovers, bigger house, bigger cars. Therefore, happiness can never lasts. The only way that one can be happy is learn to be content of oneself and what one has. I think being confident in oneself is a good place to start.


Resolutions... Not!

>> Saturday, January 06, 2007

I've planned a day between me and my computer, but it didn't turned out as such. The reason why I've planned a day with my computer is because I've just found out that my labor certification went through. A very good news for me indeed, that means very soon after my application for my green card goes in, I will be a free man. I will be able to quit my job here and go to another company. Possibly changing my outlook in life drastically in the process. I need a fresh new start, a blank canvas where hopefully I can achieve my ultimate goal of happiness. (I'm sure in many ways this is bull, I don't need a brand new life, I just need to adjust my attitude this very moment...)

ES called me out for dim sum with her son KEL and husband PL (Hey, we got the same initials...) I just discover that like me, she can be quite the control freak sometimes. She's always telling her husband what to do and he mostly listen to her. When he doesn't, they get into these little fights that I think is common between couples. ES is always saying that she will one day leave her husband and go back to Japan and she's also says that she thinks she can't handle attractive boyfriends and that's the reason why she married PL. I guess in many ways, she's ashamed of her husband. It shows, she practically treats her husband like a help or a slave. I wonder why they got married in the first place.

So we had dim sum and after that we went to see the Mummer's parade. We both got our cameras and was shooting away. I think I can't make up my mind when I'm shooting pictures. I'm too indecisive and when I'm ready to shoot, I've lost the moment and it's already too late. I think in some ways, photography is very much like hunting. I guess that's why they use the word "shoot" for photography in general. But I'm more interested in shooting architectures and objects than people and animals, I just need to take more practice.

Nobody I know mentioned any new year's resolutions this year, which I think it's pretty odd. I guess year after year we create some goals that we never follow through and people are getting pretty tired of that. I do still want to lose weight but since JH has left my company, no one gets me motivated enough to go to the gym everyday. I should start exercising and perhaps on a diet soon, I know I won't be able to accomplish much. But "Optimism is the key to success", this should definitely be my new motto.


Week in Withdraw

>> Friday, January 05, 2007

We have been out of Internet in the office in the past week. Our CFO decided to change everything over to Verizon and of course, we have some complications during the transfer. Nothing is ever easy. They forgot to send us a modem, and then they sent us the wrong one, and then they say they have sent us the wrong one again, and now they say our service will not be turned on until the 10th. Well, I have expected it so I'm not surprised. It's always like that when you deal with telephone/web server/cable companies. They all have automated telephone responding system that put you through a series of number-pressing or keyword-recognition riddles and after five minutes of say-threes, press-fours, you'll be on hold to talk to somebody real for the next twenty-thirty minutes, you'll have to provide the same information you have provided the machine all over again. They treat you as if you are an idiot, and transfer you to another department. By then your call will be dropped somehow, and you have call back and do the whole routine again. What a waste of time.

I couldn't access my neighbor's wireless, so I'm forced to come out to this coffee shop to do whatever I need to do online. This includes banking, tracking my purchases, emailing, posting my blog and finding out information I have been looking for. Although when I'm in the office, I had to do real work. Thank god we are still in the process of moving, and there are things for me to do. Plus I find an old trial version of Word Mojo I downloaded from Yahoo that is still in my computer, so that helps me to pass through the day. The setup of our office is a lot more open now, I no longer have the biggest office anymore, I'm sharing a cubicle space with ES, but it is open to the whole office, so I have to get used to the noise and habits of other people. I hope I don't get irritated so easily, I have to build up my calm and collected persona. Like a monk, I have to be cool at all situations and all time. Build up my karma. I have to say lately I have been quite fiery. They say optimism and confidence is the key to success, I cannot allow myself to be negative all the time anymore. It's not attractive.

The problem is that I'm no good when I'm under stress and more times than not I find myself handling everything and everybody's problem. But I must find out a way to counter that and learn how to handle more responsibility without exploding and lashing out on everyone. How will I be able to accomplish that? How do I learn how to deal with situations like that and actually be able to be calm and collected at all times? It's a toughie for sure.


Year In Review 2006

>> Monday, January 01, 2007

I spent the last hour and a half of 2006 sleeping. I think it's a first for me, because I usually watch those countdown shows with Dick Clark or MTV or even the local channels becaue they usually have fireworks and all in my city. This year, I slept.

There's a reason for it though. I bought caviar, smoke salmon, foie gras and a bottle of champagne for dinner and I guess the champagne got to both me and Principe. So by the time it got to a bit past 10:00, we couldn't help but feel really tired. I've been spending a lot lately, thank god I saved up some during the year. I should really control myself, if I keep having the same spending pattern, come retirement I would have no choice but live on the streets. I wonder how that can be changed. I already designed a spreadsheet to track my spending but it only helped me save up money and spend it all out again. It's better then having no security, but I must plan for the future.

I rented a couple of movies for the past days, for some reasons some of the phrases is still sticking with me. It's a scene between a midget and a transvestite in a movie called "20 Centimeters"; The midget just fionish a cello lesson and he says: "She says I've got talent." "We all have talents, it's money that we ned to develop them." Maybe it's true, we all have talents, it's money that we don't have to develop our talents. Maybe if we are all great artists inside us, some just don't have the luxury to spend time and resource to nurture our talents. It all became clearer after I've heard those words.

Year 2006 in review was nothing special. I think generally after all this bitching I've done in this blog, I'm still quite happy. Financially, I'm stable. Health-wise, there's no big blunder, I went to the gym periodically. Love-wise, I have a guy that I can invest in emotionally even though it might be very temporary. I don't belive in new year resolution, but I would be a lot happier if I can stick to the gym or a diet and lose some weight. Although now I believe that everybody got talents, I still want to further develop my artistic side and be able to create something. If not for anything else, it's entertaining to me. And the very last, I need to learn how to plan for my future. Maybe not spend so much in the extravagant and start saving money actively.


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